Climate Change Threatens National Security, Says CIA-Commissioned Study
November 29, 2012 College Park, Maryland – On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy – the largest storm in American recorded history – slammed the New Jersey and New York coasts killing more than 100 people, damaging or destroying an estimated 72,000 houses and buildings in New Jersey alone, and according to the governors of New Jersey and New York will cost at least $71 billion for reconstruction.
Ironically, on the same day that the Superstorm hit the East Coast, a study commissioned by the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies was supposed to be released from the National Academy of Sciences and its National Research Council about “Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis” chaired by Prof. John D. Steinbruner, University of Maryland. But Superstorm Sandy interrupted.
Finally after two weeks of East Coast power outages that persisted after the violence of the monster storm, the study to determine what the threat to national security will be in the coming decades from global climate change and warming was released on November 10, 2012. The following paragraphs are from the summary and conclusions:
Given the available scientific knowledge of the climate system, it is prudent for security analysts to expect climate surprises in the coming decade, including unexpected and potentially disruptive single events as well as conjunctions of events occurring simultaneously or in sequence, and for them to become progressively more serious and more frequent thereafter, most likely at an accelerating rate, the climate surprises may affect particular regions or globally integrated systems, such as grain markets, that provide for human well-being. … This will produce consequences that exceed the capacity of the affected societies or global systems to manage and that have global security implications serious enough to compel international response … and that such consequences will become more common further in the future.
Source: “Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis” by National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Committee On Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change On Social and Political Stresses chaired by John D. Steinbruner, Ph.D., Prof. of Public Policy, School of Public Policy, and Director, Center for International and Security Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.